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Breastfeeding: Good for baby and moms

When it comes to feeding your baby, Mother Nature knows best. Breast milk has just what a baby needs to grow and thrive. Plus, breastfeeding is good for moms too!

“Breastfeeding can help moms recover from childbirth faster,” said Chris Hanke, RN, Aspirus Women’s Health nurse navigator. “Breast milk provides a lot of nutrients little ones need to be healthy. It also helps babies develop immunity to illnesses like colds.”

August 1 kicked off World Breastfeeding week. The week encourages breastfeeding and hopes to improve the health of babies around the world.

Aspirus is a milk depot center for The Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, a certified breast milk bank located near Chicago.

“Women who are breastfeeding may have an overabundance of milk and for a variety of reasons might not use all of their milk,” said Hanke. “Programs such as ours are a way to capture excess breast milk for sick and premature babies who could benefit from the immunological properties of breast milk.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) says breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2-diabetes, and heart disease. It is estimated that increased breastfeeding could avert 20,000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer.

Potential donors at Aspirus are screened for eligibility using a variety of health history questions and lifestyle questions. Donors are given lab tests to screen for any potential infections. The mother can begin donating milk once she clears the screening process.

Mothers who are interested in becoming breast milk donors can call Aspirus Women’s Health at 715-847-0454,toll free at 888-236-2483, or by emailing milkdonation@